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A Lush New Courtyard Restaurant Lands Next to the Santa Monica Pier This Spring

Plus, a peek at Poltergeist’s opening menu at Button Mash, a chat with Keith Corbin, and more

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A lush new courtyard hideaway is coming to Santa Monica this spring, and it’s brought to the city by some very familiar names. Pacific Coast Hospitality Group — the folks behind Canary in Santa Monica as well as a number of European restaurants — will open Mon Ami in late March or early April in the former 41 Ocean space, pulling together a green and pastel-hued Mediterranean restaurant that is sure to be the vibe of the summer. John Sofio is on to build the project, which sits well off of Ocean Avenue proper, tucked behind a segmenting stucco wall that hides the courtyard beyond. While the menu is still coming together, expect a pan-Mediterranean experience with flavors from Spain, Italy, North Africa, and beyond.

Drink and dine at Disney

Disney is once again running its Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival this spring, with activations, one-off booths, food demonstrations, and tastings set to run from March 3 to April 25 in Anaheim. Park tickets are required to attend.

Permits and pessimism

LAist takes a long look at outdoor dining permitting and fee changes coming to greater Los Angeles soon. While the piece touches on the ongoing issues within the city of LA proper, it also focuses heavily on Crudo e Nudo in Santa Monica (which has its own permitting process) and Long Beach’s Gusto Bread, both of which have been vocal about parklet issues and fees stemming from recent permitting changes.

Spend a day at the Canyon Country Store

Ever wondered what it’s like to work at the grocery store, neighborhood hangout, and everyday deli that is the Canyon Country Store on Laurel Canyon Boulevard? LA Times has the tale of Tommy Bina, the eccentric owner who does it all and seemingly knows everyone in this little upscale-rustic slice of LA.

Keith Corbin talks shop

Alta chef Keith Corbin gets animated on a recent episode of the storytelling podcast Riveted with Mary Melton and Amy Wallace. Corbin talks about his early years in Watts, his culinary perspective, and wanting to more deeply reconnect soul food with its farm-to-table, dock-to-dish history. Listen here.

The party is here

Poltergeist, the new restaurant inside Button Mash from Estrano’s Diego Argoti, opens this weekend. The so-called King of Chaos Cooking is turning out a uniquely inventive menu that includes sticky rice-stuffed game hen, panang lamb neck, and more. Argoti — who has worked at Bestia, Bavel, Broken Spanish, and elsewhere — will also be working a more straightforward bar menu (including butter noodles for the kids, and a burger), with seating for Poltergeist in the arcade restaurant’s formal dining room space. Hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with an extension to midnight on Friday and Saturday. The opening menu is below.